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DEMAND FOR ONLINE SHOPPING BOOSTS HAULAGE GIANT

Haulage firm Wincanton has said that its profits are due to be ahead of the market predictions this year, as the huge demand for online and home shopping boosted its delivery vans arm.

 

According to the Standard, the logistics giant, the UK’s biggest, said that the business of servicing online orders had been significantly high during July and August, and was seeing revenues that were ahead of pre-COVID levels.

The firm had recently won London home delivery contracts with Waitrose, as well as a major contract with Morrison’s for distribution and vehicle maintenance of its delivery lorries, and also manages warehousing solutions for big clients such as Screwfix.

However, there had been a decrease in demand from construction industries during the lockdown, which caused the firm to reduce its vehicle fleet and cut overheads.

When revenues in April dropped by 15 per cent, the group initiated a major cost-cutting drive, including suspending its dividend, furloughing staff, and increased its overdraft with banks to get it through the crisis.

In a brief statement last week, expected to trigger a jump in the share price, it said: “Given the combination of Wincanton’s improved trading performance, cost intervention measures and the recovering economy, the board expects results for the current year to be materially ahead of market expectations.”

The statement added that they are assuming that there is no further impact on the business from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company fared well at the beginning of the pandemic, coping with the massively increased demand from supermarkets as consumers panic shopped, but its two-person home delivery network had to be temporarily closed down when social distancing guidelines were introduced.

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